Round 5 & 6 Race Report

This weekend sees 11 amateur racing drivers competing in Rounds 5 & 6 of the Gulf Radical Cup which is being held on the fabulous 4.33 kms International Circuit in Dubai. There are no cash prizes; just the glory and pride that comes from winning a trophy. The circuit layout being used has 10 challenging corners, many of which demand major commitment as they produce more than 2G in their high downforce Radical SR3 production sports prototypes. Paddle shift, more than 10,000 rpm, unparalleled amounts of grip and stopping power - a very exciting experience. Nothing compares!

As a two driver race there are two qualifying sessions, the first of which sees GulfSports Ian Roberts in the #7 car taking his first pole position in the series with a lap of 1:41.151 after a second GulfSport car, driven by Russian driver, Sergey Shalunov had his fastest time disallowed for exceeding track limits. In the second qualifying Sergey was not to be out down, and while waiting in the pits rolls out with just three minuets to go after seeing his team mate Roberts post another pole time. Shalunov then put in a blistering 1:40.176 to take pole!

So all eyes were on Roberts for Round 5 as they started with Shalunov in P2 and series leader Jane Hjerppe (Dream Racing) in the #17 uncharacteristically back in P3. After the mandatory 45-second pit stop where time penalties are added based on the result of the previous race we find Shalunov and Roberts fighting it out for the lead with Hjerppe still in 3rd being harassed by the hard charging James Edmeades of D5 Racing in the #4 who sets the fastest lap of the race in the process. Roberts has a spin passing back markers on the penultimate lap but manages to stay ahead of Hjerppe to finish second behind Shalunov.

Round 6 saw Shalunov on pole but very much aware that he would have a 15 second time penalty on his pit stop as a result of his win in the previous race, some 10 seconds more than Hjerppe. At the start it was Roberts who took the initial lead but both the front row starters were out dragged by fast starting Hjerppe whose actions caused the officials to take a close look. However, they decided it was ok and no penalty was given. On lap 3 Roberts retired with a broken drive shaft, leaving Hjerppe in the lead very closely followed by Shalunov and James Edmeades in the #4, all nose to tail.

First to take their pitstop was the Sam North / Hugh Smith combo in the #16 followed a lap later by South African racer Sean Simpson in the #26. Two laps later and the freight train of Shalunov, Hjerppe and James Edmeades, who again set fastest lap, came storming in together.  Based on their time penalties, Hjeppe got back on track first followed shortly by Edmeades’ partner Jeff Curtis -  but previous race winner Shalunov was retired by his team in the pit stop with a ruptured oil line after it having being pointed out by the D5 driver on exiting his car.

The second half of the race saw a very close battle between Hjerppe and Simpson who were never less than a second apart on track until on lap 22 Simpson finally took the lead - only to be penalised with a Stop/Go penalty for speeding in the pit lane! He clearly was enjoying his race, the first time he had led a Radical race and clearly decided he would continue despite receiving a 20 penalty for his misdemeanour which given that Curtis was now some 30 seconds back still gave him second place. 

Amir Feyzulin (AUH) finished a strong 5th ahead of the Sam North and Hugh Smith due who had an enjoyable event finishing both races ahead of Fran Cush and Neil Clark.

Rounds 7 & 8 will take place at the Yas Marina Circuit on the 18th January.

Round 4 Race Report

Following on from Konstantin Gugkaev’s victory the previous day, Round 4 of the 2018 Gulf Radical Cup offered drivers their second opportunity of the weekend to score valuable points in the championship.

The race kicked off from a rolling start with poleman Gugkaev taking the lead followed by D5’s James Edmeads, Sergey Shalunov and Seppo Mantyla in close pursuit. But by the end of lap 1, Shalunov had got past Edmeads.

As the drivers started to burn off their heavy fuel load and settle into a fast pace it was noticeable that on lap 4 the first four cars were lapping within .13 of a second - remarkably consistent and close racing!

But on lap 6, the hard charging Shalunov spun which cost him time and put him at the back of the pack with a lot of work to do to catch back up. Just a couple of fast laps later he was already past compatriot Amir Feyzulin.

After 15 minutes the pit lane was opened for the mandatory pit stop window of 10 minutes when drivers must stop their car for 45 seconds. The top 3 from the previous race have to also observe an additional pit stop penalty which can have quite a dramatic impact on the race order.

First to pit was Gugkaev, Mantyla and Ian Roberts followed the next lap by Ben Freer and Shalunov. James Edmeads brought the #4 car in just moments before the pit lane closed but was reported for speeding in the pit lane.

As the race resumed with all the pit stops completed, it was Jeff Curtis in the #4 who was in the lead, followed by Gugkaev some 8.5 seconds behind and Jani Hjerppe in the #17 just 1.2 seconds adrift.

Within 3 laps Hjerppe had got past Gugkaev and would go on to overtake Curtis to take the lead. But at the rear of the pack Shalunov, who had been driving rapidly, just posting a purple first sector to regain his position suffered a technical issue which stopped the car in a difficult spot and which brought out the safety car. The order did not change as the race finished under the safety car giving victory to the team of Jani Hjerppe and Seppo Mantyla, with James Edmeades and Jeff Curtis in second and Gugkaev in third.

Rounds 5 and 6 of the Gulf Radical Cup will be held on the 7th & 8th December at the Dubai Autodrome.

The Gulf Radical Cup is promoted by GulfSport Racing, the UAE’s exclusive sales and support centre for Radical customers.




Round 3 Race Report

After a couple of stunning races at the season opener on the Yas Marina Circuit last month, the UAE’s top national circuit race event, the Gulf Radical Cup moved to Dubai for Rounds 3 and 4 of this 12 round championship for drivers of the world’s best selling production sports prototype, the Radical SR3. Featuring drivers from Australia, Finland, Russia and Great Britain, including the 2017 European Masters Champion, Jani Hjerppe, these rounds are taking place on the magnificent 5.4kms Grand Prix Circuit.

Round 3 got off to a cracking start with the Finish Champion taking an immediate lead in the number 17 Radical SR3 followed closely by Russian driver Sergey Shalunov in the number 33 car. But on that opening lap it was British driver Ian Roberts who managed to slip by to take second place which he was to hold for the first 4 laps.

On lap 5 Shalunov managed to regain 2nd place from Roberts, who then came under pressure from another Russian driver, Konstantin Gugkaev in the number 9 car who got by Roberts on lap 9 to move up to 3rd place.

The Gulf Radical Cup features 45 minute races with a mandatory pit stop. To make things interesting, previous success attracts a pit stop time penalty, so Hjerppe had an extra 15 seconds and Shalunov had an extra 10 seconds based on them coming 1st and second respectively in Round 2.

This offered Gugkaev an advantage which he used to the full to take the lead after the pitstops which he never relinquished to take his first victory in the championship. But all eyes were on Hjerppe’s driving partner Seppo Mantyla who emerged from the pitstops just a couple of seconds ahead of Shalunov who set about getting past him over the course of the second half of the race. 

But try as he might, with the gap reducing to just 0.3 of a second, Shalunov was unable to get by and decided to stay safely in 3rd place to the finish even though he set the fastest lap of the race in the process. Roberts was only 1.5 seconds adrift at the finish, a very creditable drive from this newcomer and was followed home by the experienced British duo of James Edmeades and Jeff Curtis, and Russian driver Amir Feyzulin. The Australian driver Ben Freer suffered an unfortunate puncture on lap 2 which put pay to his chances of points.  

However, they all get another chance to shine on the awesome GP Circuit tomorrow afternoon when they line up for Round 4.

The Gulf Radical Cup is promoted by GulfSport Racing, the UAE’s exclusive sales and support centre for Radical customers.

GULF RADICAL CUP - ROUND 2 - YAS MARINA GP CIRCUIT

The second round of the 2018/19 Gulf Radical Cup was challenging from both the perspective of plus 50C track surface temperatures and close competition. Six local race teams had entered 17 drivers who would be driving identical 240bhp Radical SR3s running on Hankook slicks, a very good start to the new season.

The combination of Yas Marina Circuit instructor Shibin Yousaf and Finish racer Jani Hjerppe (Dream Racing) proved unbeatable again - but only just! Russian driver Sergey Shalunov had a great race strategy courtesy of his Team GulfSport’s two time LeMans winning driver coach Tommy Erdos which saw Shalunov take and hold the lead after his pit stop, exiting the pits just ahead of his team mate Ian Roberts.

Unfortunately Shalunov found himself inexplicably in neutral coming onto the back straight on the very last lap of the race which allowed Hjerppe to take the lead and win the race. Hjerppe admitted to Shalunov that without that mistake he would not have been able to get past.

South African driver Sean Simpson had a very strong run to take a creditable 3rd place for Dream Racing with Ian Roberts (Team GulfSport) overtaking two competitors to finish 4th.

The race was action packed as ex-motorcycle racer James Edmeads (D5 Racing with AUH) got through Turn 1 ahead of the pack, but it was the experienced Tarek El Gammel who came round to lead the first lap and opened up a sizeable lead going into the pit stop to hand over to Hamdan Al Ghaferi (Dream Racing). After taking over from Edmeades, Jeff Curtis would go on to finish in 5th place ahead of Al Ghaferi and Elgammal.

Konstantin Tatulov (B Tuning with AUH) and Amir Feyzullin (AUH) came in 8th and 9th respectively with rookie drivers Neal Clark and Fran Cush (Team GulfSport) having a very successful first event by completing both races as they got to grips with driving a Radical SR3 on a very difficult 5,555 metre long GP circuit with 21 corners! Mikhail Stepanov (B Tuning with AUH) retired his car after 9 laps and Dragos Dumitrascu (AUH) was a non-starter due to damage sustained in a high speed failure in qualifying.

Fastest lap was set by Hjerppe on lap 16 at 2:17.613

Rounds 3 & 4 will take place at the Dubai Autodrome on 16th November.

GULF RADICAL CUP - ROUND 1 - YAS MARINA GP CIRCUIT

The 2018/19 Gulf Radical Cup got off to a flying start under lights on Abu Dhabi’s 5.5kms F1 Grand Prix Circuit this evening with a win for pole sitter Jani Hjerppe and Shibin Yousaf, who took over the #17 car during the mandatory 45 second pit stop.

However, they were pushed hard all through the race by Sergey Shalunov who finished just three quarters of a second behind Yousaf after racing hard for 95kms in the 35C dusk conditions.

There were significant challenges for some of the 13 drivers who got caught out by a safety car period that was called when Sean Simpson spun the # 26 car on oil as he entered the pit lane for his mandatory pit stop. The leading quartet, who had not yet pitted took full advantage of the safety car period to dive in with the east loss of time.

In the second half of the race it was the extremely quick D5 Racing James Edmeades who worked his way through to an impressive 3rd place in the #4 car he was sharing with Jeff Curtis.

Dream Racings Tarek El Gammel, who was sharing with Hamdan Al Ghaferi set the fastest lap time of the day in the #75 car with a 2:16.882 on the last lap!

The Gulf Radical Cup is organised and promoted by GulfSport Racing who have been providing a full customer sales and support role for teams and drivers in the region since 2004.

Round 2 takes place on Saturday 29th October. 


GULF RADICAL CUP RETURNS TO THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

As the weather cools down, the action heats up and the lights come on at the Yas Marina F1 Circuit when a combined 3,000 bhp of high-revving, tyre shredding, slicks and wings sports racing cars leave the grid on Friday evening for the first round of the Gulf Radical Cup.

Following Kimi Raikkonen’s popular victory in Texas last weekend, Finish compatriot and experienced Radical racer Jani Hjerppe will be highly motivated to win on the same circuit that will host the final F1 showdown in exactly one month.

However, he may not have it all his own way as there are some quick competitors signed up who will also be eyeing that top step of the famous Yas podium. British drivers Jeff Curtis and James Edmeades who will be sharing the Number 4 car, and Ian Roberts in the Number 7 car will be trying their hardest to stop Hjerppe from taking the large trophies. 

Russia is well represented by Sergey Shalunov in the number 33 car, Amir Feyzullin in the number 15, Konstantin Tatulov in the number 35, and Mikhail Stepanov in the number 83.

Just to complete the international lineup Australian racer Ben Freer makes his debut in the number 27, South African single seater specialist Sean Simpson will also make his debut in the number 26 and Dragos Dumitrascu will be representing Romania in the number 25.

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Also making their race debut are the UK’s Fran Cush and Neil Clark in the number 55. Terry Fleet and Wesley Fongenie will be sharing the number 12 and Sam North and Hugh Smith will be driving the number 16.

The Gulf Radical Cup (www.gulfradicalcup.com) which was first run at the Dubai Autodrome in 2006 is a single manufacturer series featuring the 226bhp / 240kph Radical SR3 running on Hankook slick racing tyres. The event allows for two drivers to share a car with a mandatory pit stop halfway through their two 45 minute races to change driver. This same format of Radical endurance racing takes place in Europe, the Americas, Australasia, the Middle East and Asia enabling Radical’s customers to transfer their race experience around the world. The Gulf Radical Cup event is open to Race License Holders and is organised by GulfSport Racing who provide full support services to Radical customers in the UAE.

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Welcome to Sean Simpson

Experienced single seater racer Sean Simpson will be competing this season in the Gulf Radical Cup.

Racing his No. 26 Radical SR3 RS with Dream Racing Sean has done most of his racing in South Africa, initially in Karts in 1983 and then into Formula Ford and Formula M. Interestingly he completed a test as a very special guest of Renault F1 in 2007 at Paul Ricard in the 2006 f1 car.

Sean added -

“The 2018/19 season will be my first year competing in a Radical, my target will be to finish the season in the top six and build on that for 2019/20.  This formula will be a new learning curve and experience for me coming from single seaters, I’m really excited about being able to participate – also looking forward to some tough competition and building new relationships within the UAE motorsport fraternity.  Hopefully we can maintain a healthy grid for the entire season.  Thanks to Dream Racing for their expertise and support and to GulfSport Racing for their commitment to the series and tons of essential good advice.”

Sean is just finalising his co-driver for the season, which is to be announced before the first race at Yas.

Sporting and Technical Regulations Published

Gulf Radical Cup 2018/19 Sporting and Technical Regulations can now be downloaded here.

Every effort has been made to offer continuity with the new Gulf Radical Cup and no major changes have been applied. However its is very important as a competitor and a team to have a clear understanding of the Sporting and Technical Regulations. If you have any questions then please don't hesitate to get in contact with us.

GRC Welcomes 4 More Drivers

As the season draws ever closer, two more pairings are confirmed for the 2018/19 Gulf Radical Cup.

We welcome the pairing of Jeff Curtis and James Edmeades from the D5 Racing Team (www.d5dubai.com), racing the number 4 SR3, Jeff and James finished second overall in the Radical Middle East Cup. Last season was the pairings rookie year, but like their closest competitor Ian Roberts they both had a taste of the top step and hope to see many more this season.

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Jeff added:

"After having to settle for second place in last years championship, at D5 racing team we have high hopes to better that this season. Last year James Edmeades and myself competed with one of the oldest cars and it was my Rookie year, this year we have more weapons in our arsenal as we bring a new car to the grid, in which we hope for further our chances. We have both been keeping healthy over the summer in order to lower some of the weight in the car too, we can be found working out in the facilities provided by team sponsor, D5 Executive Gymnasium, 
 
D5 is a gym that is located in the vibrant, economic hub of Dubai International Financial Centre. It has a high-performance facility, catering to the demands of the modern executive, focused on delivering results to each and every client. Using a five dimensional approach to fitness & health, D5 is committed to a holistic understanding of the impact and influence that factors such as lifestyle, work/life balance and nutrition have to play on our day-to-day fitness and the achievement of our long-term fitness goals. D5 has recently been awarded a DHA license for high-level sports therapy, we have made a decal change for this year which sports the colours of this new therapy section of D5 which will provide the highest level of rehabilitation for everyone."

Also registered now to race this season is the new pairing of Fran Cush and Neil Clark. Having already completed a couple of days testing over the summer, both are looking for a steady first season. While Fran has a background in the design of British sports cars such as Ultima, this will be his first time taking to the track in a racing situation, while his team mate Neil has been racing various UK club series since 1994.

Neil and Fran added:

"After much research we decided to try our hand at the Gulf Radical Cup and Gulf Sport were by far the most professional and knowledgeable team we encountered.
GulfSport have been on hand to patiently answer our many questions, provide us a car to test at the Dubai Autodrome, give us instruction and guide us professionally through the driving and written tests for the licence. 
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We now have a car and are certain that the same level of care, support and great humour will continue for the coming season."

The Gulf Radical Cup will be on display at the Emirates Motorsport Expo at the Dubai Autodrome on the 14th of September.

For more info on the GRC contact us at info@gulf-sport.com or 04 4228940.

Welcome, and Welcome Back!

Just a week after entries were opened to the 2018/19 Gulf Radical Cup, its organiser GulfSport Racing is able to start to release details of drivers already signing up for next year.

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First, welcome Ben Freer to the Gulf Radical Cup. Ben is from Melbourne Australia, he works in Dubai as an Emirates pilot. Ben started racing karts at the age of 14, working his way through the clubman classes finally racing the insanely quick 250 National SuperKarts. After his karting days Ben moved on to Tarmac rally where he built and developed his own Evo 6 to compete in club rallies in Australia.

We asked Ben what his thoughts were looking towards the 2018/19 Gulf Radical Cup season:

"This season will be the first national circuit racing I’ve been involved in since superkarts. I’m very much looking forward to getting back in the seat and experiencing racing in the UAE, also spending the season getting to know the Radical and other drivers."

Ben will be racing with the support of GulfSport Racing in his newly prepared SR3.

Secondly, we welcome back Ian Roberts. Ian finished 3rd overall in last seasons Radical Middle East Cup, taking a well earned win at the last event, he was also awarded Driver of the Season. Previously Ian enjoyed running in his Caterham Super 7 on trackdays and even entered it in a couple of NGK races before switching his attention to Radicals in 2017.

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We hope to release details next week of a new pairing hailing from the UK, along with the 2018/19 Gulf Radical Cup Sporting and Technical regulations.